Worcestershire 65 for 0 (Mitchell 46*) trail Gloucestershire 234 (Marshall 45, Richardson 8-37) by 169
Worcestershire's evergreen paceman Alan Richardson continued his rich vein of form with a career-best 8 for 37 against Gloucestershire at New Road. He ripped through the visitors who were all out for 234 and, at the close, the hosts' reply was 65 without loss with skipper Daryl Mitchell unbeaten on 46.
Gloucestershire had no answer to deadly 38-year-old Richardson who has taken 20 wickets in six days after his first four Championship games this season had yielded just six for 282 runs. It was the third eight-wicket haul of his career - and his second against Gloucestershire - which eclipsed his previous best return of 8 for 46 for Warwickshire against Sussex at Edgbaston in 2002.
The consistent Richardson quickly carried on where he left off in Worcestershire's previous game when he bagged match figures of 12 for 63 in a two-day 10-wicket demolition of Kent at Canterbury last week.
He began when he made it an unproductive return to New Road for Gloucestershire skipper Michael Klinger, who played in six Championship games for Worcestershire when he deputised as the club's overseas player before Phil Hughes' arrival last season. Klinger scored just 5 before he pushed forward and was trapped leg before by Richardson, who soon went on to capture Dan Housego during an opening spell of seven overs, where he conceded only 12 runs.
Chris Dent went on to complete a half-century partnership with Alex Gidman before he pushed forward on the back foot off Richardson and was caught behind by Michael Johnson.
Gidman, who offered a difficult one-handed catch to Neil Pinner at first slip off seamer Gareth Andrew while on 18, progressed to 31 not out at lunch when Gloucestershire, after being put in, were 85 for 3 off 31 overs. But Gidman's innings ended soon after the interval when he was undone by a Richardson delivery which cut in and knocked back his off stump for 41 which contained eight fours.
At 99 for 4, Gloucestershire needed stability which was provided by Hamish Marshall and Benny Howell who steadily constructed a half-century stand in 14 overs. Their partnership spanned 20 overs and produced 74 runs before Mitchell's first ball accounted for Howell for 36.
Mitchell then highlighted his fielding abilities in the next over by holding on to an excellent low, one-handed reflex catch at second slip to remove Marshall for 45 off Chris Russell.
Jack Taylor, accompanied by Gareth Roderick, pushed Gloucestershire past 200 in the 61st over by striking Russell for fours in a row and at tea Gloucestershire were 219 for 6 off 64 overs.
But Richardson returned after tea to strike with his third ball by ousting Taylor to complete his third successive five-wicket return and then went on to dismiss James Fuller, Craig Miles and Roderick to complete a spell of 4 for 8 in 3.3 overs.